Per a different question, we've clarified that there is no way to to make "InActive" contacts, stop appearing in a search.

I lieu of that, this question is different but on the same topic.

Is there a way to make "Inactive" contacts unselectable in a Search? Via a validation rule, workflow, or process builder, etc.

This is in regards to Case>New>Contact Name>Look up:

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I'm Making Progress!

I added a filter on the Contact Search Layout:

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You could use ProcessBuilder or a Trigger to prevent users from taking certain actions on the selected contacts, but I'm afraid there isn't a way to prevent them from selecting them in the search results list.

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